Polish Government Agrees Deal with ATCOs – No Restrictions Until July 10?

Photo Credit: Piotr Bozyk/AviationSource

WARSAW – There is a breakthrough in negotiations with the ATCO’s Trade Union (ZZKRL).

Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk announced a two-month agreement on the dispute at the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency at Thursday’s meeting of the parliamentary subcommittee on air transport.

The first optimistic signals appeared already on Wednesday evening when the parties of the dispute issued a joint press release stating that on Thursday a common position on two proposals for an agreement presented by PANSA should be established.

Earlier, it was reported that all the postulates submitted by the trade unionists in terms of improving safety procedures are already being implemented.

“We managed to come to an agreement. It is not the end of the war, but a truce. In the name of further good cooperation, so as not to paralyze air traffic in Poland, we made far-reaching concessions and managed to reach an agreement.”

“It’s an important moment, but we still have a long way to go – stressed Andrzej Fenrych, vice-chairman of ZZKRL. – From tomorrow we continue working.”

“We give ourselves two months and ten days for further talks until 10 July. We will continue working on regulations of work, remuneration, ethics, and training. I thank the media because without them we would not have achieved anything”, Fenrych said.

“The most important thing is that we are no longer threatened by paralysis. This is very good news. I would like to thank everyone who made the document binding.”

“The parties are further in dialogue, not in war. Thanks to constructive talks, the agreement has made it possible to avoid the worst-case scenario.”

“We want to prepare a restructuring of the organization in the coming months so that it can shoulder this burden of responsibility that it carries. Air traffic controllers want to work and continue to perform their duties”, said Adamczyk.

“In this particular situation that we have, the Polish airspace will be used to help Ukraine. The work of all of us is possible thanks to the heroic attitude of the soldiers of this country.”

“We are prepared for the agreement to be signed. The regulation of the Council of Ministers restricting flights will be amended. Procedures have already been launched and the effects of this regulation will be withdrawn”, the head of the ministry said.

In the agreement between PANSA and ZZKRL of 28 April, we can read that the Agency undertakes to immediately start an organizational audit and necessary restructuring.

Documents extending the notice periods for persons whose contracts end on 30 April are to be signed by 29 July, and ZZKRL will recommend that members return to work or extend the notice period until 10 July this year.

ZZKRL undertakes to provide members with terms and conditions of employment on 28 July and new fixed-term contracts up to 10 July are due to be signed on 29 April this year.

The parties undertake to continue discussions on the Remuneration Regulations and the Work Regulations as well as training issues or the Code of Ethics. The next meeting has been announced for 29 April.

The dispute in PANSA

As a result of the dispute in PANSA, which has been going on for many months, 180 of the 208 air traffic controllers in Warsaw have given their notice or have not agreed to change notice.

44 ATCO’s notice periods expired at the end of March, but another 136 were due to leave at the end of April, which could lead to a near-total reduction in air traffic at Warsaw Chopin and Modlin airports.

During the dispute, there was a change in the position of president of PANSA, but this did not bring a breakthrough in negotiations.

Ideas to use military controllers and people from other countries have already emerged.

Ryanair protested, LOT to lose the most?

On 26 April, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) presented a detailed list of airlines that were to serve 32 basic routes, the maintenance of which would be possible in case of the controller’s leaving.

The list was clearly dominated by LOT. This did not please Ryanair airlines, which announced it would file a complaint against Poland.

It was echoed by the authorities of Mazowsze, which is one of the shareholders in Warsaw-Modlin Airport, which would lose most of its flights.

However, LOT Polish Airlines insisted that it had the most to lose from the entire protest.

The airlines even managed to inform passengers about the possibility of free rebooking and possible contact problems in the event of a lack of ATCOs and mass flight cancellations.

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